Find Your Simple #4: Focus on the Essentials

You want a simpler life, with more time and less stress.

Like many people, you’re probably feeling tired and overwhelmed. But as a creative, you’ve been living with an added curse/blessing: a fiery passion to create.

And that adds an extra (spicy) layer to simplifying.

Because simplifying is more than just getting back to the basics. It’s about refocusing on what’s truly important to you.

Letting go of some things in order to add others.

But how do I decide what’s a priority and what to let go of without being overwhelmed by guilt?

Letting go is about making choices and being mindful of how things, people and actions make you feel.

What energizes you, and what doesn’t? What stresses you out? What makes you happy? What’s missing?

I shared this worksheet in my Letting Go of Mental Clutter post to help you collect these thoughts in one place.

As you look through your answers, keep this question in mind:

Is this essential to living a happy life?

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For example, here are a few of my worksheet answers:

I’m happy and energized about: traveling to Arizona in February
I’m grateful for: inspiring chats over coffee
I’m stressed about: the future of my day job
I’m feeling guilty about: putting off passion projects

And here are my answers to, “is this essential”:

Is planning and going on vacations essential to living a happy life? Yes.
Is having inspiring chats essential to living a happy life? Yes.
Is stressing about things that are out of my control essential to living a happy life? No.
Is spending more time on passion projects essential to living a happy life? Yes.

I can see from my answers that stressing about things that are out of my control is draining my energy and making me feel overwhelmed. By shifting my focus to things like planning trips and breakfast chats, I’m choosing to take control of my creative journey.

Not suppressing feelings, but making choices and letting go of mental clutter.

By being mindful and asking the right questions, you can learn to refocus your energy and time on what makes you truly happy – i.e., the essentials.

Next: How to Let Go of Physical Clutter
Previous: Let Go of Mental Clutter

Find Your Simple is a blog series about discovering what’s truly important to you, and letting go of the rest.

You might also be interested in our free Happy Muses 101 guide.